Monthly Archives

May 2012

Embracing the concept of an inclusive workplace – 3 tips for employers

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The most recent edition of HR Professional magazine features “The Business Case for Creating an Inclusive Workplace”, in which Anne Lamont, President & CEO of Career Edge Organization, is interviewed among other business leaders committed to addressing the employment barriers faced by many persons with disabilities.

Throughout the article, Anne offers insights and guidance related to some of the myths and stereotypes associated with creating an inclusive workplace. Most notably, Anne encourages employers to focus on employees’ abilities rather than their disabilities, saying, “If you bring someone into a supportive environment, it demystifies the discussion around a disability.”

Having witnessed many success stories from Career Edge Organization’s Ability Edge paid internship program, Anne says that in her experience, Ability Edge interns with self-declared disabilities have managed their disabilities exceptionally well and have a strong commitment to succeed with their employer of choice. To leverage and support the hiring of persons with disabilities entering the workforce, Anne offers the following three tips to employers looking to create an accessible and inclusive recruitment process:

  1. Accessible job applications: Rather than accepting pen and paper job application forms, digital alternatives can be much more accessible to people with visual impairments or whose disability may limit their ability to use a pen or pencil.
  2. Create an environment for interview success: Interviews can be intimidating, especially for candidates that are also managing a disability. Providing interview questions in advance can support candidates in communicating their abilities, qualifications, and accomplishments.
  3. Focus on abilities: Be realistic in understanding if accommodations are required to support an employee’s abilities. This means:
  • ensuring that job roles clearly set out responsibilities and outcomes, and
  • being open to a respectful discussion with the candidate to determine what reasonable accommodation is required to achieve results.

Bridging the gap for internationally qualified architects

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JVS Toronto has leveraged the power of partnerships through its new program that aims to help internationally qualified professionals integrate into Canada’s architectural workforce.

Immigrant Professionals Leveraging Architectural Knowledge for New Opportunities (I-PLAN) is a bridging program that addresses key barriers faced by internationally trained architects, including lack of Canadian experience and the lack of sector specific job search support and advice.

As a non-profit community organization that works in strong partnership with government and business to assist people from all walks of life achieve their educational and employment potential, JVS has established a unique partnership with Ryerson University’s Chang School of Continuing Education, the Ontario Tourism Education Council, and Career Edge Organization to support the delivery of I-PLAN.

As one of the program components, I-PLAN participants complete a mentoring and internship placement supported by Career Edge Organization (CEO). Through CEO’s Career Bridge paid internship program, I-PLAN participants connect with employers that recognize and value their international education and work experience.

While the program is a great option for internationally qualified architects looking to launch their careers in Canada, employers can also benefit by tapping into this pool of highly qualified, internationally experienced talent through a flexible, low-risk hiring solution.

Career Edge Organization is proud to be a member of this partnership, and we’re looking forward to supporting I-PLAN participants as they pursue Canadian careers in architecture.

Click here for more information about JVS and the I-PLAN program.

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